Quick check for a few things

Hi all, just a quick check and hopefully I can be guided to specific places in specific documents.

  1. The EM’sHC at my Parish are taking the Sacred Host out of the tabernacle right before communion, and then putting it back in after. They are also purifying the vessels right after communion on a side table. All while the Priest sits down. I am pretty sure the former might be okay, but the latter [purifying vessels] cannot be done by EM’sHC.
  2. EM’sHC are allowing members of the congregation to “self-intict”. This is forbidden and I believe it is in Redemptionis Sacramentum 104.
  3. Our Priest sometimes does not receive both the Body and Blood. I am pretty sure this makes the mass incomplete but I cannot find documents regarding this.
  4. An army of EH’sMC. There is a “Roster” and it changes every week. Every Sunday there are at least 4, mostly 5 [4 on Precious Blood, 1 extra on the Eucharist].

There are many, many other things but these are the ones that I am going to try take up with the liturgical committee this week.

Only the priest is supposed to go to the Tabernacle. According to the GIRM:

  1. When the distribution of Communion is finished, the priest himself immediately and completely consumes at the altar any consecrated wine that happens to remain; as for any consecrated hosts that are left, he either consumes them at the altar or carries them to the place designated for the reservation of the Eucharist.

As for the EMHCs,the GIRM states that:

These ministers should not approach the altar before the priest has received Communion, and they are always to receive from the hands of the priest celebrant the vessel containing either species of the Most Holy Eucharist for distribution to the faithful.

As for the purifying of the sacred vessels, according to RS:

[119.] The Priest, once he has returned to the altar after the distribution of Communion, standing at the altar or at the credence table, purifies the paten or ciborium over the chalice, then purifies the chalice in accordance with the prescriptions of the Missal and wipes the chalice with the purificator. Where a Deacon is present, he returns with the Priest to the altar and purifies the vessels. It is permissible, however, especially if there are several vessels to be purified, to leave them, covered as may be appropriate, on a corporal on the altar or on the credence table, and for them to be purified by the Priest or Deacon immediately after Mass once the people have been dismissed. Moreover a duly instituted acolyte assists the Priest or Deacon in purifying and arranging the sacred vessels either at the altar or the credence table. In the absence of a Deacon, a duly instituted acolyte carries the sacred vessels to the credence table and there purifies, wipes and arranges them in the usual way.209

Regarding the Communion of the Priest, this is not optional. According to the GIRM:

  1. After this, standing and turned toward the altar, the priest says quietly, Corpus Christi custodiat me in vitam aeternam (May the Body of Christ bring me to everlasting life) and reverently receives the Body of Christ. Then he takes the chalice, saying quietly, Sanguis Christi custodiat me in vitam aeternam (May the Blood of Christ bring me to everlasting life), and reverently receives the Blood of Christ.
  1. The Communion chant begins while the priest is receiving the Sacrament (cf. above, no. 86).

I hope this helps.

Thank you very much - exactly what I was looking for!

Points 1, 2, and 3, are certainly problematic, especially point #3! The failure of the priest to consume both species is very serious! Are you sure about this? I have heard (though I cannot find the reference) that this might even invalidate the Mass. Definitely find a source for that before you try to make that argument, though. That may be something to take up with the priest one-on-one first, though, before you take it to the liturgical committee.

I would drop point #4, though, as it only distracts from the other (very important!) points and may lessen your impact. I don’t think 4 or 5 Em’sHC constitute an “army”. In a parish with one priest (which is most parishes nowadays), having just one other EMHC to distribute the Precious Body and four to distribute the Precious Blood (because you need a 2:1 ratio in that regard to keep the line moving) is actually pretty subdued. I have been to some parishes where they have 15 or 20 Em’sHC. That is an army. :stuck_out_tongue:

You only need a 2:1 ratio if a large percentage of the congregation receive from the chalice. In most parishes where I’ve been, hardly half the congregation receives the Precious Blood; in my own parish it’s closer to 25%.

True. In my parish, it’s probably closer to 75%, so if it’s not 2:1, things get backed up very quickly.

So the deacon is not supposed to go to the tabernacle? In every Mass I’ve ever attended with a deacon, it’s the deacon who returns the ciboria to the tabernacle, and if needed goes to the tabernacle to retrieve any ciboria with the reserved Eucharist if needed for communion.

GIRM 163 is for a Mass Without a Deacon

In the section Mass With a Deacon, it says

  1. When the distribution of Communion is completed, the deacon returns to the altar with the priest and collects the fragments, if any remain, and then carries the chalice and other sacred vessels to the credence table, where he purifies them and arranges them in the usual way while the priest returns to the chair. It is also permissible to leave the vessels that need to be purified, suitably covered, at the credence table on a corporal and to purify them immediately after Mass following the dismissal of the people.

Not sure if that means that he takes care of everything while the priest goes to the chair, or the priest only goes to the chair after replacing the ciborium in the Tabernacle.

The way my parish handles it is that the celebrant is the one who goes to the Tabernacle. The only time that the deacon goes to the Tabernacle at the Altar of Reose is on Good Friday.

At my parish the priest is never the one who returns the Hosts to the tabernacle. Having been away from the church for my entire adult life until about 7 or 8 years ago, I had no idea that this was inappropriate. At our church it’s always one of the extraordinary ministers who returns the remaining hosts to the tabernacle. They do it reverently, kneeling after they close and lock the doors. In most cases, the priest will stand facing the tabernacle while this is occurring, but we’ve had visiting priests who actually sit while this is being done. I’ve noticed also that once the priest sits, many parishioners come up from their knees and sit. I was taught though that we kneel until the host is returned to the tabernacle. Is that correct? :confused:

You may kneel until then if you wish but when we return from Communion we are free to kneel, sit or stand, as we wish.

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